X-Men producer Laura Shuler Donner confirmed to Total Film that hunky star Channing Tatum will be playing Gambit in an upcoming movie. On the London red carpet for "X-Men: Days of Future Past," the reporter asked her about rumors that Tatum was interested in the role, to which Donner replied, "It is Tatum. Yes. Yes."
Video via TotalFilm.com
The character Gambit (real name: Remy LeBeau) is a Louisiana-born mutant whose special power is telekinesis—the ability to move things with his mind. Gambit mostly uses this power to fling playing cards at people. He’s also a notorious ladies’ man with a heavy Cajun accent who spent his childhood training to pick pockets with the New Orleans Thieves’ Guild.
Tatum and Donner worked together on the 2006 comedy She’s the Man. Donner says Tatum is a good fit for this role.
"He’s a rogue—Channing—he’s a rascal, just like Remy Lebeau," Donner said. "And he can handle the action. We all know that. And he’s got a really good heart. … I think he’ll be great for Gambit. And he’s a Southerner too."
In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, actor Taylor Kitsch played Gambit. Donner doesn’t give a reason for recasting the role, though Kitsch’s starring roles in two colossal box-office flops may have had something to do with it.
Reactions have been mixed: Most X-Men fans liked Kitsch as Gambit. There is definitely a striking resemblance. In the comics, Gambit is tall and lanky—not words often used to describe Tatum. No other actor has portrayed Gambit onscreen, though he was a favorite in the X-Men animated series in the early 1990s.
maybe Channing Tatum will be a good Remy LeBeau but honestly Taylor Kitsch is my man… he played a really good Gambit in X-Men Origins.— Taylor (@housewifeswag) May 13, 2014
Back in February, a reporter at the Chicago Tribune asked Kitsch if he was interested in reprising his role as Gambit. Kitsch said yes, but acknowledged that Tatum was interested too.
"I would (play Gambit again) under the right circumstances. … But if (Tatum) does it, good on him. He’ll kill it. It’s such a cool character. Whoever plays him will be a lucky guy," Kitsch told him.